Complete Guide to the Nikon D200- P7

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Complete Guide to the Nikon D200- P7

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Complete Guide to the Nikon D200- P7: As with all my books, a full draft was reviewed by volunteers to weed out unclear language and misstatements. This book is better because of them.

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  1. V1.03 The SET UP MENU The SET UP MENU is where you go to change things that you rarely change on your camera, but need customization, such as the language the camera uses to display information. õ To get to the SET UP MENU, press the Þ button, then use the % and " keys on the Direction pad to navigate to the SET UP Tab (the wrench icon near the bottom left of the display— you may have to use the < key to get over to the Tab area first!). Press the > key on the Direction pad to get to the individual options within the SET UP MENU. 69 You’ll see a short list of options : F Format Wipes all information stored on the CompactFlash card (see “Using CompactFlash” on page < 119>). H 69 Nikon is up to their old tricks: they’ve changed the name of some items on the D200’s menus from those on previous cameras. This really is silly and can be frustrating to users of multiple Nikon bodies. For example, on the D2h we have Date and on the D2x, D2hs, and D200 we have World time for the function to set the clock. While it should be relatively obvious that it’s the same function, Nikon’s engineers need to learn that even these small changes can impair cognitive functioning and slow us down while our brains try to make sense of an unexpected difference. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 181
  2. V1.03 LCD Brightness Sets the brightness of the color LCD on the back of the camera (see “Setting the LCD Brightness” on page < 191>). H Mirror Lock-up Enables the mirror to be locked up out of the way for sensor cleaning. This option is grayed out unless the camera is running off power connected to the DC In socket (e.g. the EH-6 AC Adapter) or has a full battery. See “Keeping the Sensor Clean” on page < 575>. H Video Mode Sets the video format (see “Television Playback“ on page < 606>). H World Time Sets the date and time (see “Setting Date and Time” on page < 184>).H Language Sets the language used for the menus on the color LCD (see “Setting Language” on page < 188>). H Image Comment Allows a comment to be appended to your image files (see “Programming a Comment” on page < 189>. H Auto Image Rotation Enables or disables the automatic image rotation sensor (see “Rotating Images” on page < 395>). H Recent Settings Allows you to lock or erase the Recent Settings menu (see “Recent Settings” on page < 379>). H USB Allows you to change the way the camera presents itself to the computer (either as a mass storage device [e.g. like a hard drive], or as a point-to-point device [e.g. like a peripheral that interacts with the computer]). Note that using the WT-3 wireless option forces this to a value of PTP (point-to-point) and grays out the option. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 182
  3. V1.03 Dust Off Ref Photo Allows you to take a dust removal reference photograph for use with Nikon Capture. See “Nikon Capture” on page < 644>. This item will be grayed out if H you are not set to take NEF images. Battery Info Displays additional information about the battery status (and how many pictures you obtained with the battery). See “Battery Notes” on page < 108>. H Firmware Version Displays the current firmware version of the camera (see “Firmware Version” on page < 205>).H Despite the name “SET UP”, not all of the items grouped on this menu are things that you do when you initially set up the camera. I’ll tackle the items on this menu in the order and organization I think more appropriate. In this section of the eBook, we’re simply looking to get the camera set up properly for shooting. Individual settings we might change in response to the scene we’re photographing or other actions will be dealt with later (note the “see…” pointers after each item). Date, Time, and Language As noted in the section on power, an internal battery powers a clock/calendar function within the D200. The clock/calendar is used to add information to the EXIF header about when a picture was taken. Note: If the & icon is blinking near the top left corner of the top LCD, then the internal battery ran low on power and the date and time were reset. Make sure that the camera is either on AC power or has a fully charged battery in it for the next three days in order to recharge the internal battery. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 183
  4. V1.03 Setting Date and Time õ Set the date and time using the following steps: 1. Press the MENU key to show the menu system. 2. Use the Direction pad to navigate to the SET UP tab (the wrench icon—you may have to use the < key to get over to the tabs first!). 3. Use the Direction pad to navigate to the World Time option. Press the > key to select it. 4. Use the Direction pad to navigate to Time Zone. Press the > key to select it. 5. In the screen that appears, use the < and > keys on the Direction pad to place the highlighted area in your time zone (names appear at the bottom of the screen). Press the > key to select the currently highlighted area. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 184
  5. V1.03 6. Use the Direction pad to navigate to Date. Press the > key to select it. 7. Use the % and " keys on the Direction pad to set the Year value. Press the > key to move to the next field. 8. Use the % and " keys on the Direction pad to set the Month value. Press the > key to move to the next field. 9. Use the % and " keys on the Direction pad to set the Day value. Press the > key to move to the next field. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 185
  6. V1.03 10. Use the % and " keys on the Direction pad to set the Hour value. Press the > key to move to the next field. 11. Use the % and " keys on the Direction pad to set the Minute value. Press the > key to move to the next field. 12. Use the % and " keys on the Direction pad to set the Second value. 13. Press the ENTER button to save the data you just entered. Note: If you pause for 20 seconds or more during Steps 6 through 13, the D200 automatically turns off and cancels any changes you’ve made up to that point. Alternatively, you can press the shutter release halfway (or more) during Steps 6 through 13 to cancel the operation. You can also change the format in which the date appears: Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 186
  7. V1.03 14. Use the Direction pad to navigate to Date Format. Press the > key to select it. 15. Use the Direction pad to navigate to your choice of formats and press the > key to select it. Finally, you can tell the camera whether Daylight saving time is active: 16. Use the Direction pad to navigate to Daylight Saving Time. Press the > key to select it. 17. Use the Direction pad to navigate to your choice of On or Off and press the > key to select it. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 187
  8. V1.03 Setting Language The D200 can display menus on the color LCD in twelve languages: Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. If you’ve purchased an official import of the D200 (i.e. not a 70 gray market model), it should already be set to the F appropriate language. õ If you’d like to change the camera’s displayed language: 1. Press the MENU key to show the menu system. 2. Use the Direction pad to navigate to the SET UP tab (the wrench icon) and press the > key on the Direction pad to select it. 3. Use the Direction pad to navigate to Language (the second item on the second page of options, and whose current value is shown as a two-letter abbreviation) and press the > key on the Direction pad to select it. 4. On the new menu that appears, use the Direction pad to navigate to the language you desire (the languages are in rough alphabetical order (if you use their International spelling)—German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish, followed by the Asian languages. Press the > 70 Gray market products are those that are brought into a country by someone other than the official importer. Nikon’s warranties generally only apply to officially imported cameras. In the US, especially, Nikon is particularly careful to only repair officially imported cameras. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 188
  9. V1.03 key on the Direction pad to lock in your choice. Note: Changing the camera’s language only applies to the menus displayed on the color LCD. Information displayed in the viewfinder and on the top LCD and viewfinder remains in Anglo-based icons. Programming a Comment õ The D200 allows you to place a short comment in the EXIF data of every photograph you take. I suggest that you use it to enter a Copyright notice on your images: 1. Press the MENU key to show the menu system. 2. Use the Direction pad to navigate to the SET UP tab (the wrench icon) and press the > key on the direction pad to select it. 3. Use the Direction pad to navigate to Image Comment (before you set it, the current value is shown as – rather than ON) and press the > key on the Direction pad to select it. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 189
  10. V1.03 4. Use the Direction pad to navigate to Input Comment and press the > key on the Direction pad to select it. 5. On the input screen that appears: a. Use the Direction pad to navigate to the next letter you want to enter (white letters on gray background). b. Press the center of the Direction pad to enter the selected letter (highlighted in yellow) into the current position in the bottom box (highlighted slightly with a light gray background and a darker letter if one is already entered). c. If you need to move the cursor in the bottom box back to fix something, hold down the Thumbnail button (z) and use the Direction pad keys to move it. d. Use the Delete button to remove the currently highlighted letter from the bottom box. e. If you have more letters to enter, return to Step 5a, otherwise press the ENTER button to return to the previous menu. 6. Use the Direction pad to navigate to Attach Comment and press the > key on the Direction pad Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 190
  11. V1.03 to select it. The box should be checked if you want to use the comment. 7. Navigate to Done and press the > key to finish. Note: Step 7 is necessary. Just performing Step 6 does not actually attach the comment! Tip: As you can tell from the sample screens, I use the comment Copyright 2006 Thom Hogan/bythom.com on my D200. You can enter up to 36 characters in your comment. Choose wisely grasshopper. (One person has suggested that you enter IF FOUND CALL ###-####, but remember this is what appears on your images—it doesn’t normally show on the camera itself except during setting. It might make sense to put something like (c)2006 Thom Hogan ###-###-#### though.) Setting the LCD Brightness õ The D200 allows users to set a brightness value for the color LCD screen on the back of the camera: 1. Press the MENU key to show the menu system. 2. Use the Direction pad to navigate to the SET UP tab (the wrench icon). Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 191
  12. V1.03 3. Use the Direction pad to navigate to LCD Brightness and press the > key on the Direction pad to select it. 4. Use the % and " keys on the Direction pad to select brighter or darker display. You’ll see a swatch of patches from black to white to help you assess your adjustment. You should see every ramp position in the swatches; if the two whitest swatches blend together, the brightness is too high, while if the two darkest swatches blend together, the brightness is too low. Note in this sample screen how the two lightest patches (at right) seem to blend together a bit. You’re looking for the setting that allows you to distinguish the extreme dark (left) and extreme bright (right) patches at the same time. This setting is too bright for the light. 5. Press the > key on the Direction pad to confirm your choice. Novice DSLR users have a tendency to “crank up” the brightness of the color LCD. Moreover, they rely upon it too much to make visual assessments of the photo they just took. Unfortunately, both of these things are wrong. The swatch of patches shown in Step 4 is there to help you get a full tonal range display from black to white with a complete gradation in between. If you arbitrarily set the brightness higher, you’ll note that several of the patches on Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 192
  13. V1.03 the right side become all white (the opposite, setting too low, would produce multiple black patches on the left side). You’ve effectively told the display to show all bright tones as white—you’ll never be able to see what’s going on in the highlight regions of your image. The correct setting for the LCD brightness is to see all 10 of the tonal patches distinctly from one another and with even gradations, which almost always means a setting of -1 on the D200 in normal and outdoor light. But the bigger problem is that the color LCD is not color or 71 brightness (gamma ) profiled. If something looks too bright or F too red on the color LCD, it may or may not be in your actual photo data. It’s actually worse than that: the color LCD comes closer to reproducing the sRGB gamut than the AdobeRGB gamut. If the camera is set to sRGB as the Color Space, the colors you’ll see are slightly more accurate. Many users who’ve set AdobeRGB complain of a slight green cast, though in looking at ColorChecker charts on my color LCD and moving between the various options I see very little meaningful difference. I’ll repeat: the only way to visually assess an image accurately is to display it on a color-calibrated monitor using the correct color space profile. Setting the File Numbering Sequence The D200 allows you to specify when file numbers are reset (as a reminder, the importance of file numbers was discussed in “File Names” on page < 169>). As mentioned in the section H labeled “File Numbering Sequence” on page < 176>, you H have three choices: 71 Gamma refers to how the middle gray setting is determined. In general, the D200’s color LCD seems to have too low a gamma setting, and the tones on either side of middle gray are not perfectly symmetrical. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 193
  14. V1.03 • Off. File numbers are always started at 0001 whenever a new folder is created, when the storage card is formatted, or a new storage card is inserted into the camera. • On. File numbers are incremented until they reach 9999, at which point a new folder will be created and the file numbering will begin again at 0001. • Reset. The file number is reset to 1+the current file number in the current folder (if there are no images in the current folder, numbering is reset to 0001). Of these options, On makes the most sense, and is the one I use on all my Nikon DSLRs. That’s because file name duplication is dangerous—you could accidentally erase or overwrite a file you wanted to keep. While technically not part of the SET UP menu (it should be, as it is on the D50), I’ll deal with this function here as well as in the Custom Settings section later in this book. õ To set File Sequence Numbering: 1. Press the MENU button to see the menu system. 2. Use the Direction pad to navigate to the CSM MENU (pink pencil tab) and press > on the Direction pad to select it. 3. Use the Direction pad to navigate to the Shooting/Display option and press the > key on the Direction pad to select it. 4. Use the Direction pad to navigate to CSM #D6, File No. Sequence and press the > key on the Direction Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 194
  15. V1.03 pad to select it. 5. Use the Direction pad to navigate to the option you wish to set (On is my recommendation) and press the > key on the Direction pad to select it. Note that the file numbers you’re configuring with this menu option are what the camera sets. If you follow my advice in the post-shooting section of this eBook, you’ll have Nikon PictureProject (or whatever other program you use to transfer files from camera to computer) rename and renumber your images. In those software programs you’re not limited to four digits, plus you might want to name images sequentially from a shoot (e.g. PhillyZoo0001, PhillyZoo0002, etc.). Set Up Recommendations Summary Date and time set to the current date, time, and time zone Language set to your preferred language Image Comment set to (c) YEAR Your Name LCD Brightness set to -1 or perhaps -2 File No. Sequence (CSM #D6) set to On Note that none of these things show up on the Top LCD or while you’re shooting—everything we’ve set so far really only impacts data recorded with the image (date, time, comment, file number) or how the menus appear (language and brightness). Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 195
  16. V1.03 The next section describes an item that does impact the Top LCD display and shooting, Image Quality. Image Quality I covered it earlier (in “Image Formats” on page < 127>), but H since image quality and size settings are something that you normally attribute to “setting up the camera,” this is a good place to summarize the choices and the method of setting them. The D200 supports basic four levels of image quality (plus you can record NEF and JPEG qualities simultaneously): RAW (NEF) Images are not demosaiced and do not have camera data applied to them; you’re saving the 12-bit sensor data and a list of camera settings, not a finished image (though a finished JPEG Normal thumbnail is saved in the file). The result can be saved with either no compression or a visually lossless compression. This is the highest quality image the D200 can create. Fine (JPEG) Images are demosaiced by the camera, camera controls are applied, data is reduced to 8 bits, and the result compressed at a ratio of about 1:4 and stored as JPEG files. Compression artifacts are present, but generally not visible. Normal (JPEG) Images are demosaiced by the camera, camera controls are applied, data is reduced to 8 bits, and compressed at a ratio of about 1:8 and stored as JPEG files. Compression artifacts are present, and may be visible on close examination (especially if sharpening is used or you’re using a high ISO value). Basic (JPEG) Images are demosaiced by the camera, camera controls are applied, data is reduced to 8 bits, and compressed at a ratio of about 1:16 and stored as JPEG files. Compression artifacts are Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 196
  17. V1.03 present and often visible (especially if sharpening is set or you’re using a high ISO value). You also have a choice of Large, Medium, and Small sizes in the three JPEG formats. Starting out, you probably should select Fine Large to shoot in, as this results in high quality, reasonable-sized files that can be used in virtually any digital photo software product. It also has the decided advantage—in my humble and slightly sadistic opinion—of showing you when you make other setting mistakes, which helps you learn faster. What do I mean by that? Well, if you get the White Balance setting wrong while shooting JPEG images, the color in your photos will be wrong. If you get White Balance wrong when shooting NEF, you simply change the setting in editing. Approximate Images Per Card Format Size 512MB 1GB 2GB 4GB RAW 15800 33 66 133 265 RAW Compressed 8000 66 131 262 524 JPEG Fine L 4800 109 218 437 874 JPEG Fine M 2700 194 388 777 1553 JPEG Normal L 2400 218 437 874 1748 JPEG Normal M 1400 374 749 1498 2996 JPEG Basic L 1200 437 874 1748 3495 JPEG Basic M 700 749 1498 2996 5992 NEF+JPEG Fine L 20700 25 51 101 203 NEF+JPEG Fine M 18600 28 56 113 226 NEF+JPEG Normal L 18300 29 57 115 229 NEF+JPEG Normal M 17200 30 61 122 244 NEF+JPEG Basic L 17100 31 61 123 245 Size is in K (e.g. 6000 is 6MBs) and some of these sizes are the average I’ve seen using my D200, not necessarily Nikon’s listed sizes. Note: Not all CompactFlash cards labeled of a particular size actually have the same capacity due to differences in file allocation and marked bad sectors. Moreover, a card Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 197
  18. V1.03 marked 256MB often has slightly less than 256MBs of space. With larger capacity cards, actual capacity is typically about 5% less than stated size. Thus, the numbers in the above table are an approximation only. If you shoot a scene with a great deal of detail and Image Sharpening set to High on a CompactFlash card that overstates its capacity, you may get far fewer images than listed in these tables, especially with JPEG images (sharpening adds more detail that JPEG has a hard time compressing). Conversely, if you shoot non-detailed scenes with Image Sharpening set to None on an efficient CompactFlash card, you may get slightly more images than shown. Like EPA mileage labels on cars, what you actually achieve may not be what the manual indicated. õ To set Image Quality (and Image Size): 1. Press the MENU key to show the menu system. 2. Use the Direction pad to navigate to the SHOOTING MENU (camera icon tab). 3. Use the Direction pad to navigate to the Image Quality option. Press the > key on the Direction pad to see the sub-options. 4. Use the Direction pad to navigate to the quality you want to use. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 198
  19. V1.03 5. Press the > key on the Direction to set the quality. If you’ve set NEF (Raw) (no JPEG file added), you’re done and can skip the remaining steps. 6. Use the Direction pad to navigate to the Image Size option. Press the > key on the Direction pad to see the sub-options. 7. Use the Direction pad to navigate to the size you want to use. 8. Press the > key on the Direction pad to select it. You may also want to check the NEF compression and JPEG compression settings. Alternatively, Image Quality can be set by holding down the QUAL button and rotating the Rear Command dial; Image Size can be set by holding down the QUAL button and rotating the Front Command dial. (Look at the Top LCD to see what you’re setting.) Top LCD: Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 199
  20. V1.03 Viewfinder Adjustment The D200 allows you to adjust the viewfinder to help accommodate small differences in vision. Just to the right of the viewfinder eyecup (green arrow points to it in above image) you’ll find a small knob marked + ---- -. What this knob controls is the diopter value used for the viewfinder. Diopter is a unit of measurement that describes the refractive power of a lens. The default value (the center click stop on the dial, where + is exactly at 12 O’clock and – is at 6 O’clock) is set at –1 diopter, and the range that’s supported directly by the viewfinder goes from –2 diopters to +1 diopter. In prescriptions for glasses, negative diopter numbers indicate correction for nearsightedness. In camera viewfinders, the diopter value controls the apparent distance at which the viewfinder appears (the default is 1 meter away, the equivalent of –1 diopter). If your vision isn’t sufficiently able to (or corrected to) focus on objects at that distance, you’ll need to adjust the diopter value. õ To adjust the diopter value: 1. Defocus the lens on the camera until the scene in the viewfinder is completely blurred. 2. Point the camera at something plain, like a clear blue sky. Thom Hogan’s Complete Guide to the Nikon D200 Page 200
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